There is no shortage of incredible bars in Alberta, but few can hold a candle to Proof Calgary, where the atmosphere is right and the bartenders are fully immersed in cocktail culture.

What makes Proof so unique?

Named one of Canada’s Best, Proof means business – but works hard to ensure that no one is overwhelmed when they sit down for a drink.

“We want to educate, not intimidate,” said Amber MacMullin, Assistant Manager and Events Manager at the locally famed lounge.

“We want people to feel like they’re going to a neighbourhood bar. We still want them to come in and feel like regulars even though we have some intimidating spirits.”

From whiskey and rum to gin and beyond, customers can enjoy the classics, as well as contemporary sips influenced by current trends, unique ingredients and techniques used in places like Europe and Asia.

“We try to be at the forefront of innovation for weird things,” McMullin explains.

“Our creative director works tirelessly to make sure that we’re using new techniques and new spirits and trying to make sure that we’re interesting and staying on the forefront of cocktail development.”

Inspired to be a little more adventurous? You’re in good company! It was the “try something new” mentality that got McMullin to where she is today.

“I was actually a flight attendant for seven years and then got laid off in the pandemic,” she told Curiocity.

“I started serving at Proof and the general manager at the time said ‘We don’t have any girls on the bar, if you show some dedication we’ll train you,’ and I was like ‘Absolutely, that sounds awesome.'”

MacMullin said she studied, worked hard, and has since fallen in love with creation.

In fact, she has won three competitions including Negroni week and has recently competed in the World Class competition.

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When asked, McMullin said her favourite drink is the Chai Thai Birdy (Bacardi Rum Blend, Toasted Coconut-infused Campari, Guava, Thai Spiced Chai, Lime), which is not for the faint of heart.

“I like harder drinks, ones where you can really taste the alcohol,” she explains but adds that The Lada Saga (Ketel One, Lillet Blanc, Coconut Lemongrass Cordial, Coco Lopez Foam, Lime Leaf) is also a contender – especially for those who can appreciate an aesthetic.

Want something light? McMullin herself developed the Community Garden, which has Ketel One Vodka, Grapefruit, Lime, Honey, and Dill.

At the end of the day, however, she’s happy to make whatever your heart desires.

“Whatever makes the guest the happiest, makes me the happiest,”

Proof, Calgary

Where: 1302 1 St SW, Calgary